Chapter Thirty

May 15, 2004

Christmas came and went with little or no incident. Jason attended both brunches though it was somewhat uncomfortable with Courtney and Brian there as well. He watched Sonny say goodbye to his boys and keep his distance from Carly. He didn’t trust himself around her and Jason wasn’t sure he ever would again.

He’d given Carly her freedom though. The day after Sonny began his sentence at Ferncliffe, a set of papers was delivered to her door. Divorce papers giving Carly all of his proxy at the warehouse and splitting the profits of it between her and the boys. There would be no taint of his illegal business on his family. That money he’d given to Jason who had put into one of his accounts and forgotten about it.

Sonny had made provisions for Courtney but his sister did not need his help. She was the office manager at the insurance company she’d applied for in December and was running for the town council in Hayes Landing. In the small town, she’d found the niche that she’d been unable to in Port Charles.

Her friendship with Brian thrived and the two were inseparable. Karen’s family had accepted her with open arms, despite her past and her family. It was clear they thought of him as a son rather than their daughter’s widowed husband.

She still kept him at arm’s length. The divorce had been final in March and she had little contact with her ex-husband, only news of him from Carly. But she was still getting used to living her own life and supporting herself and wanted to be that way a little longer.

Courtney made the attempt to keep her friendship with Carly strong and made sure to call at least once a day. Lorenzo and Sage had moved in with Carly and both she and Michael were thrilled to have them there. Michael was wary of Lorenzo but was slowly warming up to him. And he figured it was only right that his older sister Sage now lived there.

Sage now wondered how she’d ever survived not living in Port Charles. She and Maxie were inseparable, Georgie had warmed up to her and Lucas–they’d just celebrated their six month anniversary and it amazed her since she hadn’t spent six months anywhere before much less with the same person.

Through Sage, Carly had developed a somewhat relationship with her half-brother and it wasn’t unusual for Bobbie and her son to join Carly and her family for dinner on the weekends or for Lucas and Sage to watch the boys while Lorenzo took Carly out for dinner. It was the closest Carly had ever come to a normal life and she relished every moment of it.

Even Jason and Elizabeth’s lives had started to follow the trend. Though it had been rocky from the moment they’d moved in together–with Jason trying so hard not to fail her that he ended up irritating her by always being around. Her hormones were all over the place and one day, she’d told him to get the hell out and stop hovering. He’d taken it literally and had retreated to his own penthouse for a week, making Elizabeth just as miserable. She hadn’t realized how much she’d come to count on having him around or finding excuses to touch him.

Even the sight of his clothes in the dresser depressed her.

She said nothing and neither did he so Emily took it upon herself to straighten them both out by locking them in a room together at the new apartment. A lot of yelling commenced. Jason finally lost it and was telling her how selfish and spoiled she was acting when her hormones got the better of her and she jumped him.

Which of course led to a rather embarrassing situation when Emily came into check on them and found them passionately kissing on their way to the bed.

Jason put the penthouses up for sale the next day and officially moved in with Elizabeth, making everyone sigh in relief.

The end of the school year was approaching and Maxie had talked Sage and Georgie into performing at the high school talent show which Sage wondered if she’d been drugged into agreeing. She was nervous enough with Lucas graduating from PC High and heading off to the college. She didn’t need to add the extra pressures of performing in front of the whole student body–most of whom didn’t like her.

But Maxie could talk a priest into breaking his vows and she’d talked her shy sister and reluctant best friend into doing some girl group song.

And now here she was in the bathroom, trying not to poke her eye out with her mascara wand, as Michael was perched on the toilet next to her. “Why do you wear that gunk anyway?” he asked distastefully.

“Because it makes my eyes darker.” Sage slid the wand back inside the tube. “Why do you play in the dirt?” she teased back.

He shrugged. “Do you think Mom and Lorenzo will have another kid?” he asked curiously.

Sage frowned. “Morgan’s not enough for you?” she asked. She fished through her makeup bag to find her charcoal eye shadow.

“Well, I want a little sister,” Michael replied. “I mean, you’re awesome and it’s cool having an older sister but all boys should have a sister to look out for you know? Morgan won’t need me forever.”

Sage quirked an eyebrow. “You are an odd duck, Michael, my boy.” She clucked her tongue. “I dunno if Carly and Uncle Zo will have a baby. They’ve barely been together.”

“But maybe that would break them up,” Michael said hesitantly. “Mom and Daddy were okay until Morgan was born and then Daddy went away.”

“A lot of marriages end in divorce.” Sage shrugged. “And some people don’t wait long enough for the divorce to be final.”

“Your mom didn’t?” Michael questioned.

“Nope. Took off when I was a kid. My father got a divorce a few years later when he met Brenda.” The love of her father’s life. Whom she had never met.

Carly stepped up to the doorway, a letter in her hand. “Sage, this was in the mail today.” Her forehead was creased in confusion as she handed it to her. “Post marked London.”

London. She’d written Brenda Barrett ages ago hoping the former model would tell her that Luis Alcazar had mentioned his teenaged daughter. She set her make up down and ripped it open.

Dear Sage,

I can’t tell you how surprising it was to hear from you. It’s been almost two years since Luis died and I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t think about you much. But to answer your question — Luis did talk about you. You were a painful subject because you look so much like your mother but he carried a picture of you with him.

It would be just like Luis to assume that you knew he loved you and never tell you. He kept you away for your safety. I know you must know your father led a dangerous and at times, reckless life and he never wanted that to touch you. He thought it safer if he kept his distance.

My memories of my time with Luis are not good ones, Sage, I can’t sugar coat it to make you feel better. But in his own way, Luis loved you. I can only hope that brings you some peace of mind.

Sincerely,
Brenda Barrett

“What is it?” Michael demanded, standing on the tips of his toes to see the letter.

“I wrote Brenda Barrett a few months ago, asking about my father,” Sage whispered. She raised her eyes to Carly. “He told her about me.”

Carly exhaled slowly. “He did.”

“Brenda says he kept me away to keep me safe but that he loved me in his own way.” Sage’s hands were trembling but she struggled to keep her tears in check.

As much as she loathed and despised the brunette, Carly sent her a silent thank you. Whether Brenda was lying or not, she’d given Sage something no one else could have.

Her father.

There was something else in the envelope. A photograph with a post-it note attached. In Brenda’s messy scrawl, she had written. Luis gave this to me once and I saved it because I wanted to remember something good.

The photo was of her father, holding a young Sage. She couldn’t have been more than five or six in it. He was wearing one of his trademark suits and sitting in a chair, his arms wrapped around his daughter’s waist. Her long dark hair was pulled into a set of pigtails and she wore a blue and red sailor dress.

Sage turned it over and a little sound left her throat as she read her father’s handwriting. Luis and Sage. 1993.

Her hands were shaking now and she shoved Michael aside to sit on the closed toilet. “He gave her a picture of us. I didn’t—I didn’t even know this existed.”

Carly took it from her and smiled. “It’s a beautiful picture. Maybe we should get it blown up and framed.” She handed it back.

Sage smiled hopefully. “Yeah?”

“Sure. Now–finish getting ready. Michael, go check on Morgan,” Carly ordered. “And stop bothering Sage.”

Michael pouted but raced out of the room to play with his little brother who was getting more and more interesting by the day. Carly smiled at Sage before leaving the bathroom.

Sage clutched the letter and picture in her hand and closed her eyes. Her father had loved her.

Jason and Elizabeth’s Apartment

“I’m fat,” Elizabeth pouted. “My fat coat doesn’t even fit me anymore.” She gave up trying to pull the lightwight material over her pregnant abdomen and glared at Jason. “This is all your fault, you know that?”

“I seem to remember you being present for it,” Jason replied. He peered inside the closet. “Did you pack that bag like I told you too?”

She scowled and yanked her coat off. “I’m not a child,” she began but broke off in the middle of it and winced. “Ow.”

“Are you okay?” Jason asked immediately. He settled his hands over her belly and peered at her anxiously. “Are you having contractions?”

“No—” Elizabeth winced again. “But this kid has one mean right hook.”

“You’re only a week away from your due date. I’m not sure if we should be going out tonight,” Jason fretted.

“Once we have the baby, I’ll be lucky to see daylight. Besides, I promised Carly and I promised Bobbie to go see Maxie and Georgie since she’s stuck at the hospital.” She kissed his chin since she couldn’t quite get on the tips of her toes to reach his lips. “And you promised her you were accepting Lorenzo and Sage.”

“I am. Sage is a very nice kid and Michael likes her.” Jason frowned. “I tolerate Alcazar.”

“And all Michael has done for the past few weeks is chatter on and on about Sage being in this. It’s important to him, too.” She gripped his forearms and smiled up at her. “So we’re going.”

“I have a bad feeling about this.”

“You have a bad feeling about opening the refrigerator door,” Elizabeth grumbled as she hung up her coat. She was hit with another little pain but kept it out of her eyes.

Port Charles High: Backstage

Maxie hummed as she fluffed out her freshly curled hair. She adjusted the strap of her tank top and examined her panty hose for runs.

Next to her, Georgie was trying to remember how to breathe. She must have lost her mind, letting her sister talk her into this. Just wait until this was all over–she’d make her pay.

The door to the stage area opened and Sage entered, Lucas behind her. He kissed her a few times and seemed reluctant to leave but he finally did and Sage was still a little dazed when she joined them.

“I can’t believe it’s finally here,” Maxie said excitedly. “Kyle drove all the way from Yale to see us.”

“To see you,” Georgie said moodily. She shot her sister a dark look. “If we make asses of ourselves, I’m coming for you.”

“We’re not going to. We’ve practiced until our brains and our feet hurt,” Maxie said reasonably. “We’re going to win.”

Sage snorted. “As long as we don’t come in last place, I’m not sure I really care.”

“We come in last place and I’ll cut your hair off while you sleep and dye the rest of it green,” Georgie threatened.

Port Charles High: Audience

“So I’ve never heard Georgie sing,” Dillon began. “What if she’s bad? How do I tell her she rocked without getting nabbed for lying?”

He asked Kyle because he figured Kyle had more experience about lying to girls than he did. Plus–Lucas was so far gone over Sage he’d probably think her burping was melodic.

“Tell her you’ve never heard anything like it,” Kyle suggested helpfully. “She’ll take it as a compliment and you’ll know the truth.” He shifted in the uncomfortable wooden chairs. “I hope they’re on first.”

“I hope they don’t suck,” Dillon muttered.

“You think Sage would marry me?” Lucas asked.

Kyle blinked and Dillon gaped. “She’s seventeen,” the former sputtered while the latter continued to gape.

“So?” Lucas asked defensively. “Haven’t you ever looked at Maxie and just known?”

“Sure. I know I’ve got something special with Maxie but…I’m nineteen years old. She’s seventeen.” Kyle’s face paled. “Do you know what her dad could do to me?”

Dillon’s face was drained of color. “Do you know what Sage’s uncle could do to you?” he asked Lucas.

“He likes me. He thinks I’m good for her.” Lucas shrugged. “I’m not saying we’d elope tomorrow or even before we’re done college. I’d just like to know she wants the same things.”

“I’ve heard about this,” Dillon nodded. “Temporary insanity. I’ve had it myself. Don’t worry, buddy, this will pass.”

Lucas glared at him.

Across The Room

To her credit, Courtney barely blinked as she sat in the empty seat next to Elizabeth. Brian took a seat next to her and Courtney was pleased that she felt nothing but disinterest in the pregnancy of the woman next to her.

For a while, the thought of it had stung but she thought she was finally reaching a better phase in her life.

“Hey,” Elizabeth greeted, trying to pretend there was no reason to be awkward.

“Hey. How are you feeling?” Courtney asked warmly.

“Fat,” the other woman grumbled sending a nasty look to what she called the cause of the problem.

Courtney laughed. “You’re due any day aren’t you?”

“May 21,” Elizabeth said.

“Should you be out?” Courtney replied, a little concerned.

“That’s what I told her,” Jason muttered. Elizabeth shot him a look that told him what he could do with his opinion.

“I’ll go into labor whether I’m locked in my room or sitting at Kelly’s.” She winced. “This kid is going to learn that kicking his mother is not nice.” She cleared her throat. “It was nice of you to drive all the way here for Sage.”

“She means a lot to Carly,” Courtney told her. “And Carly’s my sister.” She grimaced. “Though I hope at least some of these kids aren’t tone deaf.”

“Ssh,” Carly hissed. “It’s starting.” She looked to Lorenzo. “I’ve got the digital camera. You got the video?”

Lorenzo held up the camcorder. “Ready to go.”

 Port Charles High: Stage

The girls were on fourth from the last, making their friends and family sit through almost an hour of kids who ranged from talented the downright scary.

The lights dimmed and as they began rise, the music for That Don’t Impress Me Much by Shania Twain began to filter through the speakers. Carly grinned. “Nice choice.”

Their performance consisted of nothing more than some decent dance moves and each girl taking a turn strutting across the stage as they belted out the lyrics of each verse. What Maxie lacked in talent, she made up for in enthusiasm and surprisingly, Georgie could carry a decent tune. But it was Sage that swept the audience off its feet as her clear soprano echoed in the cavernous room.

When it was over, everyone was on their feet, clapping and hollering. Georgie was glad she didn’t have to follow through on her threat to her sister or that Dillon wouldn’t have to fumble for a lie. Poor boy.

Four groups later, they announced the winners and it came as no surprise that their girls had captured first place.

Maxie let out a loud whoop as Georgie threw her arms around Sage in her excitement.

Sage hugged Georgie tightly and somewhere in the back of her mind, she saw the picture of herself and her father.

The Cellar

“A toast,” Carly said, raising her glass of champagne. The others in the room held up their own glasses, the kids and Elizabeth dutifully drinking juice. “To the three most talented kids in Port Charles.”

“I object!” Kyle called from the back. “I have talents.”

“Yeah, too bad none of them can be shown in public,” Dillon cracked.

“Most talented girls,” Carly qualified.

Kyle snorted. “Well that clears me and Lucas.”

Carly rolled her eyes and motioned for Sage to come towards her. “We have an announcement to make. I got a call just before we left for the school and I was hoping to celebrate it tonight.” She smiled at Lorenzo. “The adoption’s final, Sage.”

Sage’s brown eyes lit up and she looked from her uncle back to Carly. “Yeah?”

“Carly has adopted Sage,” Lorenzo qualified to the rest of the surprised crowd. Sage threw her arms around Carly before going to her uncle and hugging him too.

After that, Carly turned on the music and let the party loose. Elizabeth escaped to the bathroom after a little while.

Courtney was in there and for a moment the two women just looked at each other hesitantly. “Some announcement huh?”

“Yeah.” Elizabeth rested her palms against the marble sink counter and closed her eyes. “He sure is active tonight,” she murmured, rubbing her belly.

“So it’s a boy?” Courtney asked.

“We wanted to be surprised–” Elizabeth gasped and clutched the counter. “Okay–that hurt a little more than a kick to the ribs.”

Alarmed, Courtney approached her. “How long have you been having these pains?” she asked intently.

“He’s just kicking–but on and off for a couple of hours I guess,” Elizabeth shrugged.

Courtney bit her lip. “Could you be in labor?”

As if on cue, a rushing sound broke the silence and Elizabeth looked down with some dread. “Since my water just broke, I think it’s a pretty safe bet.”

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